ProcrastinationI had this paper due at school today in my psych class. It’s the easiest-two-paged-double spaced-I could answer this in my sleep-paper, but I didn’t write it. I thought about writing it every day these past two weeks, but still I didn’t do it! Each time I thought about it I’d say “Ok, well I’ll do it tonight when I finish this or that.” I even remembered to wake up early today and go to school to write it. I ended up sitting around talking with my friends. Luckily my teacher wasn’t there today, and told us to turn it in on Thursday. I had two weeks to write this painfully easy paper which is a huge part of my grade, and I still didn’t write it on time. I’m lucky that he wasn’t there and didn’t make us turn it in.

Has this ever been you? Have you ever had a grade-changing assignment due the next morning and you haven’t even started it the night before? This happens to me all the time, and it happened when I sat down to write this blog entry too. After two weeks of making up various excuses about why I should write this blog later, I stared blankly into my computer screen. Finally it hit me; I should pay attention to a few of my top distractions

Here’s a little list of some things that I did to procrastinate, and what I think I could have done differently:

  • Facebook! I think I spent the most time (not writing this blog entry) on Facebook. Because I have a smartphone I’m ALWAYS facebooking. A lot of the time I use it to get in touch with people whose telephone numbers I don’t have, but mostly I waste time staring at my friends pictures, reading comments, and liking stuff… not to mention spending time thinking of witty status updates. If you want to get any work done whatsoever: GET OFF FACEBOOK! It’s a no brainer really, but no one can ever disconnect themselves long enough to actually follow through. I guarantee that if you exit Facebook while you study or do homework, it’ll go by twice as quickly.
  • Electronics! For some people electronics aren’t a problem; they can pick up a video game and play a round or two, or watch 10 minutes of a television show and then walk away. I get sucked into any kind of visual distraction; electronics such as TV or video games are major ones. Studies have shown that multi-tasking decreases efficacy and actually makes work take longer. Some people like to listen to music while they do homework; this is great as long as talking or singing doesn’t distract you. As long the music has a steady beat and rhythm, it can be very soothing. Try to eliminate TV screens around your study area.
  • Cell Phone! Ok, I don’t have to tell you how many times I’ve had a teacher tell me to put away my cell phone. As I said earlier, I have a smartphone, so I spend my entire life on it looking at random stuff, or listening to music, or whatever, but I mostly get phone calls, emails, and texts from friends. Though I could always silence my phone and ignore calls, just the sheer temptation of touching my phone and looking at who’s on the other line is enough to jolt me off my thought processes.

All in all, avoiding procrastinating is pretty simple… just do your work. Get yourself away from distractions either alone at a table or desk, and turn off your phone, disable your internet, put in some noise-cancelling headphones or close the door, and get down to work!